Charlize Theron, Daniel Radcliffe, Channing Tatum, Robert Downey Jr. and Shirley Bassey are among the participants who have been added to the 75th Oscars show in the last two days, according to announcements from show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
But the bigger Oscar news is this: Academy members can finally vote.
A full 29 days after Oscar nominations were announced on Jan. 10, the Academy opened the polls for final voting on Friday morning at 8 a.m., ending a long wait in which Academy members had to sit back and watch organizations like the Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild crown the year's best.
Members can vote online beginning Friday morning and ending Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. PT. They also can request paper ballots and vote by mail. Some voters who opted for paper ballots report receiving those ballots as early as Wednesday of this week.
The long gap between the nominations and the beginning of final voting could affect some races, though Oscar-watchers have little idea how things may play out. Voters may have made up their minds weeks ago, waiting all that time to cast votes for "Argo" or another favorite as soon as voting opens – or they could have used the time to watch all the nominees and change their minds about what films deserve their vote.
The additional time could conceivably give a boost to films like "Silver Linings Playbook," with its strong support from the huge Actors Branch, or "Zero Dark Thirty," which has recovered from much of the controversy that swirled around it when nominations voting was taking place.
Still, without any big guild wins for any of the rivals to "Argo," Ben Affleck's drama has to be considered the strong frontrunner.
On the Oscar-show front, meanwhile, Zadan and Meron announced on Friday that William Ross will conduct the Oscars orchestra for the third time, and that Dame Shirley Bassey (photo above) will make her first appearance on an Oscar show.
On Thursday, Zadan and Meron announced that Theron, Tatum, Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will appear on the show. And on Wednesday, they added Oscar nominees Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo to the lineup, along with actor Chris Evans – although in an attempt to emphasize their box-office rather than their Oscar credentials, those actors were billed as "The Avengers Cast" in the AMPAS press release.
The Oscar show will take place on Feb. 24, five days after the close of voting.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Shirley Bassey
- Channing Tatum
- Craig Zadan
- Oscar nominations
- Daniel Radcliffe
- Charlize Theron
- Neil Meron
- Screen Actors Guild